“Huddy was outstanding. So much that if he would have come out of the seventh inning with no runs, I was thinking about letting him hit in the eighth, because he was that dominant.”
“Maholm kept us off-balance. I thought we had some balls hit right at people with people in scoring position. They did a nice job defending us there.”
On seeing so many balls hit into the Cubs shift in series
“We swung the bats well. Even though we didn’t score any runs today, I can’t complain about our offense. They did a nice job defending us… It seems like we should have won two out of three, especially with Huddy’s performance today.”
On Dempster and Maholm pitching better than a lot of people might realize
“You hear people talk about they are not a very good offensive club, but that pitching will keep them in games. Wow, it’s pretty good pitching we faced, especially those two guys, Dempster and [Maholm] today. They keep pitching like that, they’ll be OK. They’ve got enough guys who can scoot around the bases, they’ll be able to create some runs.”
On Hudson looking in after LaHair RBI single; Huddy surprised shift was on?
“I don’t know. I didn’t see that. I know Huddy looks in a lot of times after a groundball, looking at Rossy, but I don’t know what they were thinking there. Maybe he was looking at Rossy about whether the location was good or bad. I don’t know. That’s a question to ask Huddy. But damn, that’s a helluva performance.”
On Hudson’s performance
“He shouldn’t have given up a hit. He was as dominant as ever. Stuff-wise, he was as good as I’ve ever caught him. Four years here, nobody’s thrown the ball like he was throwing. I was catching and I didn’t feel like he should have given up a hit. It stinks we didn’t score for him. That’s a frustrating one, when he pitches like that. It’s just frustrating. Period.”
On LaHair’s single, discussiong before at-bat
“We walked out and I said, hey, the guy on deck is hitting a buck-90 (.190) and this guy is hitting almost .400. I feel like he had the stuff to get him out, but let’s execute our pitches and do what we did. We did exactly what we wanted to do and got a groundball. A weak groundball, really. It just happened to be in a spot where nobody was. Really, Jack almost got to that ball. I thought he got to it, but it just kind of took a weird hop on that soft dirt and got through. It just stinks. Oh, man.”
On Huddy looking in after the ball went through, as if surprised in the shift
“I didn’t see. I was too upset, wanting to choke somebody at about that time.”
How good was Hudson’s sinker?
“It was unbelievable. I told him, the best stuff you’ve had since I’ve been here. His sinker was just sinking for all strikes down in the zone. His breaking ball had huge, huge break to it, it was sharp. His cutter was really good, moved to both sides of the place well. He threw four-seamers when he needed to. Even the split, he threw a couple of splits that were good.”
“If you’ve got that as a catcher to work with — for me that was no-hit stuff today.”
On Paul Maholm having so many great games against Braves
“I tell you what, those lefties that just don’t ever really give in, the soft lefties with cutters, change-ups, they never really give you that heater to hit, we struggle with a little bit. It’s just one of those days, he had good stuff. We hit some balls hard. I thought they were real lucky with positioning today. I thought Chipper Jones could have had four hits today. If that wind is blowing out, I think that last one is a homer. He hit two up the middle that probably are normally hits, especially that one with Prado on third. That ball’s a missile
“I don’t know if it just wasn’t meant for us to win today, or what. Frustrating day as a catcher when you’ve got a guy throwing that well and we don’t pick up a ‘w.’”
Ever seen a team use shift so much?
“No. They don’t shift on me, but watching that, you’re thinking how you’re taught ‘drive the ball up the middle.’ When you’re trying to teach you’re trying to work up the middle, the other way.
“We hit one that almost killed a pitcher yesterday [and was caught for an out by Demspter]. Stuff like that … it’s frustrating.”
Got to be frustrating to pitch that well and lose?
“Yeah, it’s disappointing. I feel like we played a pretty good game. Obviously they had a guy over there that was throwing the ball really well, too. He was making some pitches. They had some breaks with some of their defensive alignments with some guys on base. The ball was bouncing their way. Not a whole lot else you can say.”
“I feel like I was making some pretty good pitches. The best I’ve felt this year. It’s just disappointing. I feel like we should have won the game, even though their guy was throwing the ball well. I felt like we should have come out on top.”
Ross said best you’ve been when he’s caught; you feel you’re back all the way?
“Today I felt really good. My sinker felt really good. It was coming out good, had some life to it. My other stuff, I felt like it was as godo as it’s been in a while. Through this whole process, it’s been getting a little bit better. And today was obviously better than it was in Colorado. You can’t really take a whole lot from any start in Colorado, but it was definitely good to see some good action on the ball and a lot better command than I have had early on in this process.”
On the wind blowing in today
“I don’t care how hard the wind is blowing. I mean if my sinker is the way it was today, it could blow out 20 miles an hour. If you keep it on the ground, the wind doesn’t have any effect. But today was a good day to pitch here, there’s no question about that. Wind was coming in. It’s always nice throwing here because you know the grass is going to be nice and thick, and you just hope you have a good sinker going, which I did. Not to take anything away from what they did. They took what I was giving them. LaHair did a good job hitting that sinker the other way with nobody [there]. We had a little shift played on him with a guy on third base, and he just played pepper with the shortstop and that’s the ballgame.”
You knew you guys were in a shift?
“Not really. It’s really no secret what I’m going to try to do. I’m going to try to throw him sinkers away, off-speed down and in, off-speed down in the zone. The way my sinker was going today, it would have been hard to pull it. But he did hit some off-speed pitches for a base hit up the middle in his first at-bat, and he pulled a curveball to the first baseman, so…. It obviously didn’t work out for us this time, but that’s just how the ball bounces sometimes. No pun intended. They had the breaks and they won the game.”
The look you gave after the hit, surprised shift was on?
“Off the bat, honestly I didn’t know where the defensive guys were playing. Off the bat I thought it was going to have a play made on it; and Jack still almost made a play on it. It would have been a real good play, but he did the best job he could to try to get there and make a throw. We had a big left-hander there who was not too quick [LaHair], so there was a chance to make a play. A game like today, one little door that opens can win the ballgame. That was an opportunity that they took advantage of. It’s the littlest things that win these kind of games.”
On hitting balls directly at defenders in the shift
“Yeah, the shift won them the game today. It lost them the game last night. So, you live with it you’re going to die by it. Unfortunately today we couldn’t really get anything going, and when we did we hit a bullet right at somebody. But Huddy pitched good. That’s the silver lining. He seems to be back in command and we look forward to having him healthy the rest of the year.”
On Maholm, always tough on Braves
“He was dotting that back-door cutter pretty consistently. Good change-up, two-seamer in, good curveball. He’s a guy that’s going to keep you off-balance. When you get your opportunities you’ve got to take advantage of them. We thought we did, but we hit right into the shift. So give him his due, he pitched well.”